Grant’s First Birthday

March 2, 2015

We celebrated a very special day this past Friday! It was Grant’s first birthday! Marcus and I both took the day off of work to celebrate our little guy and I am so glad we did! We started the day off by surprising Grant with quite the wakeup call. He got ballooned!

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Seeing his face light up while he was playing was such a special experience. He is the happiest little guy I know and there is nothing better than hearing his laugh and seeing this smile! After the balloon festivities, we headed to grab breakfast at Village Inn, and Grant was such a star. The waitress staff sang to him and everything. He wasn’t so sure why on earth people were singing and looking at him all at once, but he loved looking at the candle!

Grant's first birthday


After breakfast and a killer 2.5 hour  nap, we were ready for the zoo!

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We went ahead and got an annual pass a couple of weeks ago, so we put them to use! The zoo on the week day is amazing! It was extremely quite and much more fun than going with the masses on a Saturday or Sunday.

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We looked at a lot of different animals and really just let Grant explore since it was so quite. We didn’t have to worry about him getting stepped on or anything, so he was able to spend a lot of time checking out elephants, zebras, rhinos, and giraffes! Oh the giraffes!

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I think Grant may have just thought they were really big dogs since he kept trying to pet him – aka, the only thing he wasn’t allowed to do!

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After the zoo, we made it home for nap #2 and then dinner with the family for the first of two celebrations – I didn’t catch a single photo during that time. I was too busy taking it all in to even worry about the camera. It was just our immediate family on Friday, and we are having his big party on Sunday of this weekend to celebrate! I can’t wait to celebrate Grant with all of the people who have had a big part in his first year!

The 2015 Gasparilla Half Marathon

February 24, 2015

Gasparilla is probably the one race I was so sad to have to miss last year, but I had good reason. It was on my due date! I registered months and months ago for the 2015 race, knowing I would be running this year. My friend Meg and I have been doing our training runs together and planned to run the race together as well. I picked her up bright and early on Sunday morning for the 6am start. We parked around ½ mile from the start, and had no issue walking into the corral about 10 minutes before the gun went off. Perfect!

Gasparilla Half Marathon

We agreed to keep it really easy in the first bit, as to not get caught up in the frenzy of people sprinting off the start. I slid in right behind Meg since she was going to be dictating our pace for the race. It was completely silent, with the pitter patter of feet throughout the entire first mile – it’s definitely one of my favorite sounds!

Once we got to the 2 mile mark, I knew Meg was hurting. She was completely silent and I knew something was up. She insisted I go ahead without her – her hip was bugging her and knew it was going to be a tough race. I made sure she was ok a couple more times, and then I went ahead. She promised it was the best idea, so I was off! I really picked it up for the next mile, and settled into a 7:15 pace. The race route is one I run all of the time. I’ve literally run parts of the course hundreds and hundreds of times, so I knew exactly what was in front of me. Pushing the pace was no big deal, given the extremely flat course up ahead.

The wind was minimal this year, so the 60 degree weather we were running is was beyond perfect. In years past, there have been some really hot and some really cold mornings. 2015 was an ideal weather year for Gasparilla! The course takes the runner around an island for 5 miles, and then makes up the other 8 miles along Bayshore Boulevard, a waterfront street with the best views ever!

Gasparilla Half Marathon

I kept on trucking along, grabbing fuel at everystop, alternating between water and Gatorade. Just because it wasn’t hot definitely didn’t mean it was cold, so I was sure to stay hydrated. Loss of fluid is a key to bonking during a race, so I know to always keep up with water and Gatorade, even if it’s only a sip here and there.

Stephanie was at mile 8 & 10, since it was an out and back type of course. It was so great to see her smiling face, especially that early in the morning! A 6am start is not the easiest to get spectators out to, so Stephanie jumping and screaming with her homemade cheer signs was amazing! Once I left Stephanie, I only had 3 more miles to go, so I decided to pick it up a little bit. I had slipped to around 7:30 by then, so I went back to the 7:15/ mile I was holding before and it felt a little more labored, but nothing crazy.

Gasparilla Half Marathon

I knew I was going to see Grant and Marcus at mile 12, so I hustled to get there. I actually stopped to say hi to them, which is something I’ve never done before. It was the first time Grant had come to one of my races, so I wanted to see his smiling face! I lost about a minute at the stop, but I didn’t care. Seeing Marcus and Grant’s smiling face was well worth it!

When I was about ½ mile from the finish, I looked down at my watch and saw that is stopped working. It stopped about ¼ mile after I saw Marcus and Grant. Oh well, I would just have to rely on my results for an accurate time – no big deal. I crossed the finish line around 1:39, so I figured my actual finish time was probably 1:38:XX since it took 10-20 seconds to cross the start line.

Gasparilla Half Marathon

I grabbed my amazing medal and headed to the finisher’s area. It used to be right after the finish line, but this year they actually put it about 1/2 of a mile from the finish. It was somewhat of a bummer to have to walk that far to grab food, but I did it anyway. A girl’s gotta eat 😉 I can understand why they put it over there though, since the majority of people probably park in the parking garages close to that area. I had parked the complete opposite way, so it just made it for a longer walk for me. I got some food for Meg and I, swung by the finish to grab Meg so she didn’t have to walk further than she needed to, and that was it! Another Gasparilla half in the books!

Gasparilla Half Marathon

Remember earlier when I mentioned I would just reference my results for my finishing time? Well, little did I know that my chip timing didn’t work for the race. It only clocked me crossing the halfway point, but not at the finish line. I am so bummed! I would love to know what I actually ran the race in! I’ve already emailed the inquiry line to see if they can help me out, so we shall see.

Has anyone else ever had a timing chip malfunction? This was a first for me in the 11+ years I’ve been running. I’ll take that as a win!

Friday Favorites 2.20.15

February 20, 2015

Happy Happy Friday! Along with the rest of the country, we Floridians got a jolt of cold air the past couple of days. Lows in the 30’s is pretty abnormal for us, so its been quite the adjustment! I know its nothing compared to the single digits a lot of you are dealing with, but it is still very cold for us! I may have worn 2 pair of pants on my walk this morning with the pup – ya gotta do what ya gotta do!


Anyhow, enough weather talk. Here’s a few fun things from the week and upcoming this weekend!

Its Gasparilla Race Weekend!

Today is the expo, then tomorrow is the 5k and the 15k, with the half marathon and the 8k on Sunday. I am running the half marathon with my friend Meg and I can’t wait! I’ve only ever run a race with someone the whole time twice, so I am really looking forward to going Meg’s pace and enjoying every mile! Considering this time last year was Grant’s due date, I am pretty pumped to be running the race this year!

Gasparilla Race

My coworker posted this little motivational tidbit this morning, and I absolutely love it and have to share it with all of you.

Motivational quote/SayingI saw this article yesterday and thought it was really interesting. I’ve always read the 1% incline rule on the treadmill and it is interesting to see its somewhat of a myth.


Check out this article on the world’s most intense fitness program. It’s based on the Navy’s Hell Week for SEAL Candidates. Holy moly! I’m all about tough workouts, but dang! This is a whole other level!

Sore Muscle Toy Story Meme

Hope your Friday and the rest of your weekend are both fantastic!


Grant: 1 Year Photo Shoot

February 18, 2015

I mentioned in my last post how amazing is was to have milestone photo shoots during Grant’s first year. We recently had the last session in our package for Grant’s first birthday! Instead of doing the shoot when he was 12 months old, we opted to do it right around the 11 month mark, so we would have the photos for his birthday party. We put in our order and got the photos back last week. I love how they turned out – our photographer Nicole really does capture the best moments!

This was definitely my favorite of all of the photo shoots that we have had. His newborn photos were kind of a blur, since he was only a few days old and it was a huge effort just to get to the studio on time. His 6 month photos were fun, but he was still pretty young and couldn’t interact as much. For the 12 month photo shoot, he was having so much fun! He loved playing with the icing, the balloon, and the beads in the different photos. The happiness he possesses is definitely apparent in each and every photo!


Baum Grant 1yr birthday-80 8x10 L-1

Baum Grant 1yr birthday-12 5x7 L-2

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Baum Grant 1yr birthday-25 5x7 L-3

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Tips For The 1st Year

February 16, 2015

With Grant’s first birthday coming up in less than 2 weeks, I’ve been taking some time to think about tips I can give other new moms for that first year. Those first 52 weeks are such a blur, and I can not believe Grant has already been here a year. I remember vividly thinking I would never make it past 3 months, let alone a year breastfeeding. We are still going strong. All of those 6 month clothes we received as gift – he wouldn’t be wearing those forever. Ha, ya right. They’ve been packed away for quite some time now. Here are a few tips to help get you through that first year.

Buy A Package of Milestone Photo Sessions

My mother in law gifted me a package of photo sessions the Christmas before Grant was born. The package included newborn, 6 month, and a 1 year photo shoot. I am so so happy we had this. I could easily have said we couldn’t afford it or we didn’t have the time to take photos for 3 different milestones. Sure, we could have used that money elsewhere, but I am so glad we used it for the photos. Each photo shoot turned out so well and we will always have those photographs to remember those memories. If you are on the fence as to whether or not you want to get the photo package – just go for it!

Grant newborn

Write Your Monthly Recaps

One reason I love this blog so much is it really is like an online scrapbook. I’ve been able to write a monthly recap for each month Grant has been around, as well as when he was still in my belly. You may think you will remember what happened in each month and be able to jot it in a baby book later, but no way! Your mind is being pulled in so many different ways and the days and month really do blend together. Even if you don’t have a blog or online journal, spend some time writing recaps, whether it is in a Word doc, in a journal, or in a folder you keep for your little one.

Don’t Buy Too Many Clothes

Babies grow so fast (especially in those first 8-9 months!) that buying too many outfits is really not necessary. When your baby boy or girl is on their 3rd outfit of the day at noon, you are just going to pull from the top of the laundry pile, not even caring what the outfit looks like. We ended up using the same 8-12 outfits over and over again, with some outfits being used only once or twice. Don’t waste your money on all of those cute outfits. Your baby is going to look adorable, regardless of the outfit you’ve put on him or her.

Grant's birth

Accept Help

You will have a lot of people offer to help you, especially in the first few months. Let them help you! It is important for your overall well-being to spend some time taking care of yourself. Whether it is in the form of a nap, a manicure, or your favorite running loop, just accept the offer. It is easy to want to be super mom (or dad!) and do everything yourself, but you really don’t need to. Let others help you and see what a big difference it makes.

Cherish the Snuggles

When your baby is really young, think 3 months or less, they sleep on you – a lot. There are times you are going to beg to have the use of both arms at the same time – to cook dinner, fold some laundry, etc. Try not to wish those moments away. Take advantage of all of those snuggles you get from your newborn. Before you know it, your baby is going to be moving a mile a minute, with only a handful of seconds he will rest his head on your shoulder. After the bottle Grant eats before going to sleep, he puts his head on my shoulders and just melts into me. It is hands down, the favorite part of my time with him each day. Nothing in the world is more important to me than spending those few extra moments with just him and I.

Grant Snuggle

Know It Doesn’t Last Forever

This is probably the most important point to remember. When you are up at 2am feeding your baby for the 20th night in a row, it won’t last forever. After getting dressed for the day and your little guy has a blow out, all over your white pants – it won’t last forever. When you see your baby smile and then laugh at your for the very first time – it won’t last forever. Cherish every minute you have with them in their infancy, because it doesn’t last forever. Grant is going from an infant to a toddler in a few short days, and I just can not grasp that he is already at this stage. Motherhood is the most amazing gift I could have been given. Lucky for me, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving!

What do you wish you had known or kept in mind the first year you had your baby?